Rafael Nadal responds to criticism and stated that he will keep fighting at the ATP Finals in Turin after a shock first-round loss that marked a 13-year low for the Spaniard.
Nadal entered the ATP Finals in Turin following a first-round loss at the Paris Masters last week and was looking to turn his sluggish form around.
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Many expected a better performance from the Spaniard after returning to tour a couple of weeks after the birth of his first child.
But after a close first set against Taylor Fritz, everything went wrong for the 36-year-old.
The American, who defeated Nadal in Indian Wells, took the second set with Nadal looking helpless in the baseline rallies.
He also committed three double faults as Fritz comfortably claimed his first Green Group victory 7-6, 6-1 in Turin.
Nadal was criticized After the game, with a lot of feelings, we were watching the end of the icon’s career.
The Spaniard had not lost three games in a row since 2009 and in his current state he could be going through a bad time in the Green Group.
However, in typical Nadal fashion, the Spaniard said he would “keep trying, no doubt.”
“I need more matches to play at this kind of level, even if I’m training well, much better than I’m competing for sure. That’s normal,” Nadal said after the match.
“(No) it’s the ideal tournament and it’s probably part of the season to come back after a couple of months off tour because you don’t have time to be confident.
“In this tournament I still have a chance. But of course I’m not happy with the start. That first match was very important to me.”
Taylor Fritz achieves famous victory at ATP Finals
Nadal took a 6-5 lead in the first set when he held love for the fifth time, but then lost the first three points of the tiebreak and couldn’t find his way back.
After neither player lost serve in the first set, Fritz broke early in the second for a 3-1 lead and again to take a 5-1 lead before closing out the match in his next service game when Nadal sent a long forehand.
“Once I got done with that first set, I just wanted to do the same thing that I was doing in the second set: take care of my serve and look to capitalize on break points when I got them,” Fritz said.
For Fritz, the victory marked the first over a top-three opponent in 12 tries and improved it to 2-2 in head-to-head meetings with Nadal defeating him in Indian Wells in March.
In the other group match, Casper Ruud defeated the in-form Felix Auger-Aliassime 7-6 (7-4), 6-4.
Auger-Aliassime has been in sublime form late in the season, winning three straight tournaments before a semifinal run at the Paris Masters, but he was not at his best as he fell to world No.3.
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